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Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 164 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Material consideration

A factor which will be taken into account when reaching a decision on a planning application or appeal. Under Section 38 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, decisions on planning applications 'must be made in accordance with the [development] plan unless other material considerations indicate otherwise'. The courts ultimately decide what a material consideration is. However, case law gives local planning authorities a great deal of leeway to decide what considerations are relevant, and how much weight should be given to them, each time they make a decision on a planning application. Any consideration which relates to the use or development of land is capable of being a material consideration, but other circumstances such as personal hardship and fears of affected residents can be considered in exceptional cases (the House of Lords in Great Portland Estates v. Westminster City Council [1985]). In practice, Government planning policy is often the most important material consideration other than the development plan. Government policy may also override the development plan if it has been both consulted on and published more recently.

Metropolitan authority

Metropolitan authorities are essentially the same as unitary authorities. They provide a one-tier, or where parish or town councils exist two-tier, structure of local authority in England. The responsibilities of metropolitan authorities include education, planning, waste disposal and social services.

Minerals and waste development framework

Following the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004), 'Minerals and waste development plan documents' will progressively replace minerals and waste Local Plans. They contain the authority’s policies on disposing waste and on the working and apportionment of minerals.

Minerals planning authority

Council or unitary authority. They are responsible for minerals planning, including the environmental impacts of mineral extraction in their area.

Minerals planning guidance notes

Prepared by the Government as advice to minerals authorities and the minerals industry.

Minerals policy statement

Policy on the planning and supply of minerals which is produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government. These statements will progressively replace the previous minerals planning guidance notes.

Mode of transport

The method by which a person or goods travel. One mode of transport is by bus. Foot, cycle, train, tram, car, plane and boat are some other modes.


The regular and systematic collection and analysis of information to measure policy implementation. Planning authorities are required by law to produce an Annual Monitoring Report covering the monitoring of policies in the Local Plan that they are responsible for preparing.

Multi-modal studies

Studies looking at the roles of different modes of transport in a transport corridor. The aim of the studies is to compare the advantages and disadvantages of a wide range of different options for solving transport problems. These options should include traffic management, demand management, public transport alternatives and the promotion of walking and cycling.

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